International sleep experts have estimated that 1 billion adults worldwide suffer from varying severities of sleep apnea, a vast majority of which go underreported and undiagnosed.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep condition that adversely affects a person’s breathing while they sleep, resulting in poor quality of sleep and an increased risk of health problems.
This sleep condition is once thought to only affect elderly and overweight men, but more experts have come to the realisation that anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, regardless of age, race, and gender.
It’s important to be aware of the warning signs and risk factors associated with sleep apnea so that you can seek medical help. Here are eight common warning signs of sleep apnea you or your partner can watch out for.
8 Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
1. Gasping for Air in Sleep
Gasping and choking during sleep can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This happens because the soft tissues in the back of your throat collapse when you’re asleep. This can block off your airway, causing you to suffer from an inability to breathe normally.
In turn, this lack of oxygen causes you to abruptly rouse yourself awake and gasp for air. If your partner tells you that you do this in your sleep, it’s important to seek medical advice immediately.
2. Hypnic Jerks
Hypnic jerks are brief, involuntary movements that occur as you’re drifting to sleep. They can be accompanied by a feeling of falling or a sudden muscle spasm.
This sensation can feel frightening due to the sudden nature of this symptom. However, this movement is essential because it’s the body’s way of alerting your brain that you’re not getting enough oxygen.
While this won’t happen in all cases of sleep apnea, it is most common in people who have anxiety, have sporadic sleep schedules, or are avid coffee drinkers.
3. Morning Headaches
Sleep apnea-induced headaches are a frequent phenomenon. They’re described as a pressing pain that affects both the left and right side of the brain, lasting for as much as four hours.
The reason this occurs is because of the oxygen deprivation that the body experiences during sleep apnea episodes. For this reason, it’s best to treat your sleep apnea by using a CPAP Mask from CPAP Direct or consulting with a licensed clinician.
4. Dry Mouth
If you constantly wake up with a dry mouth, this could be a sign of sleep apnea. This is because your body is unable to breathe through your nose when you’re asleep due to the blockage in your airways.
In response, your body will start breathing through your mouth. This can lead to your saliva evaporating quickly, resulting in a dry or parched feeling when you wake up.
5. Daytime Fatigue
Even if you don’t show signs of being sleep-deprived and get 8 hours of sleep a night, patients with OSA may still feel tired throughout the day. Concentrating on simple tasks can feel like a struggle, and you may find yourself dozing off often.
This is because people with sleep apnea sleep poorly and their bodies and minds don’t benefit from entering the restorative stages of sleep; that is, deep sleep and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. This stage of sleep is crucial as it facilitates tissue growth, cellular synthesis, and muscle repair.
If you feel sluggish and groggy during the day even after eight hours of sleep, get yourself checked by a doctor.
6. Loud Snoring
Loud snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea. It occurs because your tongue collapses to the back of your throat and partially blocks your airways when you’re asleep.
As air passes through this narrow opening, the soft tissues in your throat vibrate, causing you to make a loud snoring sound.
You’re usually unaware of your snoring, so ask your partner if your snoring is getting so loud to the point that it’s bothering them. If it is, make sure to see a doctor to address this medical concern.
7. Libido Problems
Sleep apnea can lead to a decrease in libido. This is because many people with OSA suffer from erectile dysfunction, which limits their ability to become aroused and engage in intimate activities. Tadalafil is a medication that, taken on a daily basis, cures on most cases EDs, check this article to learn more tadalafil uses https://www.numan.com/erectile-dysfunction/tadalafil
Additionally, people with sleep apnea tend to have low levels of energy due to their daytime drowsiness and poor sleep quality. This can put a halt to sexual activities, which can lead be a source of frustration for couples.
8. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (HBP) is indicative of many conditions and disorders, sleep apnea included. Sleep apnea episodes can lead to a spike in systolic and diastolic levels because of the lack of oxygen circulating in your body. This is because the fluid in your limbs may be brought to your neck, causing blockages and breathing obstructions.
And even if sleep apnea episodes occur only when you’re asleep, high blood pressure can persist during your waking hours. It’s important to get yourself checked if you see an increase in your blood pressure levels, even when you’re not engaging in any strenuous activities.
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